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Nadal Wins First Set 6-2 From Djokovic in U.S. Open Men’s Final

Tennis player Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates a point during his men's singles final match against Novak Djokovic of Serbia on Day Fifteen of the 2013 U.S. Open in New York City, on September 9, 2013. Photographer: Al Bello/Getty Images
Tennis player Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates a point during his men's singles final match against Novak Djokovic of Serbia on Day Fifteen of the 2013 U.S. Open in New York City, on September 9, 2013. Photographer: Al Bello/Getty Images

Sept. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Second-seeded Rafael Nadal has won the first set 6-2 against top-seeded Novak Djokovic in the men’s final at the U.S. Open in a duel of former champions.

It is the third time in four years that the two have met in the final -- Nadal won in 2010 and Djokovic triumphed in 2011. Last year, with Nadal sidelined by a knee injury, Djokovic lost to Andy Murray in the final.

Nadal, 27, a Spaniard who is 21-0 on hard courts this season, got the only service breaks in the third and seventh games of the match at the National Tennis Center in New York. He has lost only one game on his own serve in the tournament so far.

Djokovic, 26, from Serbia, has reached the final of three major championships in 2013 for the third consecutive year, winning his third straight Australian Open at the beginning of the year.

Nadal and Djokovic are playing for the 37th time, the most of any men’s rivalry in the professional era of tennis that began in 1968. They had been tied with Ivan Lendl and John McEnroe with 36 meetings. Nadal leads the head-to-head contest 21-15.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rob Gloster at rgloster@bloomberg.net

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